Elizabeth I cup
Elizabeth I English silver-gilt drinking cup to be offered by Koller on March 24, estimated SFr30,000-50,000.

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The extensive collection of Dr Paul and Ursula Müller-Frei, which is being dispersed on March 24, contains an impressive selection of Meissen porcelain, Old Masters and furniture, but also several pieces of early English silver.

Most items date from the late 17th century but among the lots on offer is a silver-gilt footed drinking cup which is much earlier. It can be dated to 1576, although the mark of the London maker is not decipherable (it is possibly an A).

The accession of Elizabeth to the throne fuelled an upsurge in demand for works of art of all kinds, sparked not only by the monarch’s own fascination but also by the growth of increasingly prosperous middle and upper classes who were able to invest in decorative and practical pieces.

The 8in (22cm) high engraved cup last appeared at auction in 1988 at Christie’s in London when it was sold by All Saint's Church, South Cave, Brough, north Humberside, for £32,000.

This time around it is expected to bring SFr30,000-50,000 (approximately £25,000-40,000).